Steven Gordon Thielges of Eden Prairie, known to his many friends, family and loved ones as “Tilly,” left this universe for the next on June 18, 2022. He was 71 years old.
Tilly was born on January 19, 1951, in Huron, SD, and spent his formative years growing up in Tracy. His life began for a second time on February 9, 1964, when he saw The Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. From that day forward, he was a drummer. As a musician, Tilly was kown for his flawless rhythm, expertise in vocal harmony and warm, exuberant stage presence.
He played in more than 30 bands in his life, including The Sensational Sleepers, Wire, Thumbs Up, Nip ’N Tuck, City Mouse, The First Avenue John Lennon Tribute Band, Burlesque, Graffiti, The Gene Pitney Band, Hip Bone and the Fab 6. He loved connecting with bandmates and audiences through his art and made many deep, lifelong friendships forged through music. He and some of his closest band brothers played together for more than 50 years.
Tilly had a kind heart and a quick, gentle wit. He cared deeply for the underprivileged, the marginalized, outcasts and the weird. He loved children and animals. He hated injustice. He loved nature; the smell of rain and freshly-tilled soil. He loved traveling to new places and bringing home a souvenir “squashed penny” for his collection. He made friends everywhere he went by truly connecting with and caring for others and lit up every room he ever walked into. He so enjoyed time spent with loved ones sharing good food and drink, games and great music. Most of all, he was an incredible husband, father, brother and friend. With his departure, the world has lost a truly good man.
Tilly is survived by his beloved wife, Shari Thielges, children Shane and Moriah Thielges, brother Pat (Milly) Thielges, sister Helen “Lee” (Paul) Simley, stepdaughter Kesley Kadlec, sisters-in-law Jodie Whitmore (Al) and Liz Duncan (Pete), as well as nieces and nephews, great nieces, and great nephews and many cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Art and Carol Thielges, and brother-in-law Paul Simley.
A celebration of life will take place Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, at the VFW on the corner of Lake and Lyndale Streets in Minneapolis from 1-6 p.m.